I was very nervous when I arrived at Arizona Stadium. We went through the media elevator to the skybox. The hallways were crowded with journalists running through them. I started to get more and more nervous as I got closer to the skybox. And then suddenly there we were at the media entrance door.
The skybox is where Brian Jeffries does his announcing during football games. It is a very small room that shows you the entire field with an eagle’s perspective. Jeffries was on air and when he is announcing you have to be as quiet as a mouse, and you have to wait a few minutes to speak until he is off air.
I learned that Jeffries is a nice man and he is very wise. He is tall and he was wearing his UA business attire. Jeffries’ top responsibility is to do the play-by-play for all Arizona football, baseball and soccer games. Preparing for a broadcast is “kind of like doing homework, every night I do my homework,” he says. Jeffries has been announcing for about 40 years now.
Do you wonder how Jeffries doesn’t get nervous? “I look at it as a great responsibility, because when you broadcast radio you can’t see your audience...they could be down the block or from across the world.”
Jeffries says he is inspired by other broadcasters such as Ray Scott. “He was the longtime voice of the Green Bay Packers and one of the all-time announcers. I worked with him for a couple years, and he was my biggest inspiration.” Jeffries’ first career was as a radio disc jockey. He played rock and roll, broadcast high school football and basketball games and did the news.
I asked Jeffries what he would say to aspiring broadcasters. “You don’t need to specialize in one area. I tell students at the University of Arizona, you don’t need to major in broadcasting or journalism. In fact, it’s better to get a degree in history, let’s say, because it gives you better perspective.” Jeffries says getting into the business is difficult, but to work hard in school and listen to a lot of different announcers. “I want you to listen to me, but don’t listen to just one, listen to a lot of different ones....Don’t try and be another announcer. You've got to be you and that's the important thing."